Continuing the weekly serialization of
Damian Beeson Bullen’s
THE CHISPER EFFECT
In which a number of the world’s greatest mysteries are finally solved
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Finding the Holy Grail is, well, the Holy Grail of historical mysteries. According to later Arthurian tradition, & the chisper widely believed by modernity, the Grail was a wine-filled cup utilised by Jesus at the last supper. The truth, however, is somewhat quite different. Analyzing the complex collection of chispers that surround the Grail has been the most taxing of tasks, but the solution is at hand. We must begin at the end of 2011, when I made what I thought to be rather an important discovery concerning an obscure old stone standing in a sleepy corner of Scotland known as the Yarrow Glen. For over thirteen centuries the stone had been slowly eroding beneath the sod, the ancient secrets it kept fading into obscurity. Two hundred years ago it suddenly surfaced, a five-foot long block of solid greywhacke disturbed from its earthy slumbers by a farmer’s ploughing of the moor. The discovery was made at Whitehope farm, just outside the pretty village of Yarrow, nine miles to the west of Selkirk in the heathy heart of the Scottish Borders. Of the find area, George Eyre-Todd declared; ‘previous to 1808 the neighbourhood of the glebe was a low waste moor, with some twenty large cairns upon it, in which, when opened, were found some heaps of fine yellow dust and the head of an antique spear. About three hundred yards further to the west, when the strath was being broken in by the plough, a large flat stone was laid bare. It contained a Latin inscription, rudely engraved.’
This exciting & curiously inscribed stone was taken for examination at the nearby home of the Duke of Buccleugh, Bowhill House. Eminent antiquarians hurried to examine the stone, including luminaries such as Sir Walter Scott, Dr. John Leyden & Mungo Park. Following its perusal, the stone was returned to its home on the moor, but placed erroneously in an upright position. In its original position it had led horizontally on the ground, whereby standing it bolt upright we visitors must now bend our necks sideways in order to read the much-weathered inscription. On doing so we find a Latin memorial, scoured out of the rock in large scraggly capital letters.
HIC MEMORIAE ETI BELLO INSIGNISIMI
PRINCI PES NUDI
DUMNOGENI HIC IACENT IN TUMULO DUO FILII LIBERALII
The accepted translation reads;
This is an everlasting memorial.
In this place lie the most famous princes
Nudi and Dumnogeni
In this tomb lie the two sons of Liberalis.
The stone marks a burial ground for two Christian princes of the fifth to sixth centuries AD – but which two? Their deaths seem to have been attached to a major battle, for a great deal of burial tumuli & memorial stones had been erected at the site. The Statistical Account of Scotland 1845 describes;’ on Dryhope Haugh, there stood a large cairn called Herton’s Hill, in the midst of which, when the stones were removed about thirty years ago, to enclose the surrounding field, some urns were found, besides a coffin found of slabs, & containing ashes. There may still be seen to the westward of Altrie Lake, on rising knolls, five considerable tumuli, probably remains of the ancient Britons.’ At the end of the 19th century, yet more remains were unearthed, with William Angus recording, ‘cart loads of bones are said to have been unearthed to the west of the church & put upon the glebe lands.’ The identities of the men who gave life to those bones are long lost to us now, except, of course, for the two princes of the stone.
In the New Year of 2012 I thought I had it all figured it all out, & telephoned the Southern Reporter, a newspaper based in Selkirk. They enjoyed my ‘discovery’ enough to actually publish the story (Jan 7th 2012). That I was described as a ‘hobby historian’ shows that at this point in my studies – which I began seriously in 2010 – I had not yet established the core ideas of Chispology.
AN Edinburgh hobby historian is claiming the Yarrow Stone marks the grave of King Arthur, writes Sally Gillespie.
Self-styled literary archaeologist Damian Bullen says academic consensus has the Liberalis Stone as the burial ground of two Christian princes of the fifth to sixth centuries AD. And one of those he believes was King Arthur.
Mr Bullen, 35, said: “When we strip away the mediaeval romancing of our legendary king, we are left with genuine nuggets of historicity. One of them is the stone at Yarrow which I am convinced is his grave marker.”
It has been reported that the famous regent died with Medrawt (said to be his nephew Mordred) during “the strife of Camlann”. Camlann means “crooked glen” which Mr Bullen says is “a perfect match” for the river bends in the Yarrow Valley near the Liberalis Sonte.
Ploughing in the area three hundred years ago revealed a large flat stone inscribed in Latin.
Mr Bullen says: “Academic consensus states that the site was a burial ground for two Christian princes of the fifth to sixth centuries AD – but which two? At first glance it seems that Prince Nudos and Prince Dumnogenus were the sons of King Liberalis, but there is more to these names than meets the eye.”
He looked up “liberalis” and “nudus” in the 1968 Oxford Latin Dictionary from which he believes the former means gentlemanly and argues: “Calling our two princes, ‘sons of Liberalis,’ would be a poetic way of saying that they were very noble princes.”
Nudus, he says, implies loss of all one’s material possessions.
“In the context of a burial chamber, the word nudus is surely used as a deterrent to would-be grave robbers of the future.”
He further claims: “Moving on to the second prince, Dumnogenus, the whole key to the Yarrow Stone and its significance to British history is revealed. The word is actually made up of two components, Dumno and Genus. Genus – descent, birth, origin – with implication of high or noble descent – nationality, race, nation. The genus element means ‘born of,’ as in our modern word ‘genes.’ This makes the two princes ‘born of the Dumno’. This has to be the Dumnonii, a tribe of ancient Britons, whose lands encompassed Cornwall, Devon, Somerset and Dorset.
“This knowledge renders the inscription as, ‘Here lie two famous and very noble princes of Dumnonia, buried without possessions’ Of all the princes of antiquity who have heralded from this region, there is one who stands head and shoulders above all the rest – King Arthur! That he died with a family member – Mordred – fits the inscription on the Yarrow Stone completely.”
He says the monks of Glastonbury where Arthur is currently believed to be buried, made the story up to raise money.
“When we look deeper into the initial discovery (of Arthur’s coffin), we learn that the abbey was, at that time, in deep financial trouble. A few years before the discovery, in 1184, the monastic buildings and church of Glastonbury had been burnt to the ground. Money was needed, and with the relics of saints being big business at the time, these wily monks ‘found’ the bones of Saint Patrick. Widespread belief in an Irish burial site soon put paid to that particular claim, and the bones of Saint Dunstan ‘discovered,’ not long after were dismissed as swiftly. By 1189, with Richard the Lionheart pressing the churches for financial assistance to aid his crusade, the monks were getting desperate. How fortuitous it was, then, that the bones of King Arthur were unearthed the next year.
“As seems likely, the monks of Glastonbury had made the whole thing up, meaning the search for Arthur’s grave is back on.”
Other clues to support his theory, he says, are the “crooked” element of Camlann being echoed in a hill overlooking the river called Crook Hill and the moor on which the stone was found having the name Annan Street, which he says is a possible shortened form of Camlannan. He continues: “There is a ‘Dead Lake,’ near Yarrow bridge, which local tradition says was the final resting place of warriors slain in battle. It could well be the lake in which Arthur ordered his knight Bedivere to throw Excalibur into as he lay dying.”
And Mr Bullen says: “There is a real likelihood of a battle having taken place at Yarrow. In the area one finds a host of Cath- names – Cath is Brythonic for battle – such as Cat Craig, Catslackburn, Catslack Knowe and Cat Holes.”
He notes there are battlefield burials in the area and he believes Arthur’s corpse was the well-preserved skeleton found on Whitehope Farm in the mid-19th century but which was gradually lost to curio-seekers.
And from letters dating back to the period, Mr Bullen also thinks King Arthur’s skull may be in the vaults of a local museum.
“It seems Arthur was buried near Selkirk. I’m convinced of this and until we find another site in a crooked glen, where two princes of Devon or Cornwall are buried side by side, and surrounded by the bodies of many warriors, I shall remain so.”
Asked to comment on Mr Bullen’s hypothesis, a spokesperson for Historic Scotland said: “The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) records indicate that ‘the Yarrow Stone was set up to mark the grave of two British Christian chieftains. It dates from the early 6th century and falls into place in the early Christian series more richly represented in Wales and Cornwall.’ As such, we certainly believe it is of national importance.”
A couple of days later I was studying in the National Library of Scotland, when an email dropped into my inbox with an urgent message to contact a certain Niamh Andersson by telephone. It turns out she worked at Deadline News, an Edinburgh based company which feeds stories to the nationals. Thinking ‘why not’ I walked down to the place to give them a few more details about me & my studies, and they also took my photo. The following morning I went to my local newsagents, bought a copy of the Daily Record & found my face staring up at me. The Record is more a national tabloid, and I was quite tickled to see how an off the cuff mark in the Southern Reporter story had creochisp’d into the headline;
From here the story shot round the twittersphere and opened up a great deal of debate onto whether I was right or wrong. Certain Arthurians who have written books about their version of King Arthur reacted swiftly, dismissing my findings as rubbish. Now, I am always readily ready to admit when I am wrong about something, and in this instance I was definitely wrong about the Yarrow stone marking the burial ground of King Arthur. In the last chapter I showed he was buried at Inchyra, which leaves us with the unanswered question of, ‘just who were the two Dumnonian princes buried at Yarrow?’ The answer comes quickly, for where the Jesus College genealogies have a certain Pheredur as a king of Dumnonia (after King Cador), we may observe in the Triads & the Annales Cambrae the same figure – & his brother Gwrgi – in action in the Borders, fighting at the Battle of Arfderydd, near Longtown in Cumbria, in 573. That they later died at the same time – thus realizing the historical background of the Yarrow stone – is given by the Annales Cambrae, when in 580 AD; ‘Gwrgi and Peredur – sons of Elifert – died.’ The circumstance of their deaths is given in the Triads, when among ‘Three Faithless Warbands’ of Britain, we may observe;
The War-band of Gwrgi & Peredur, who abandoned their lord at Caer Grue, when they had an appointment to fight the next day with Eda Great-knee; & there they were both slain
Caer Grue has never been identified, but could well be Din Guarie on the Northumbrian coast, upon which site the magnificent castle of Bamburgh was built. This location is supported by a passage in the Historia Brittonum, which shows how Urien of Rheged, who at that time was the ruling ‘lord’ of Gwrgi & Peredur, was besieging Angle-held Lindisfarne, the Holy Island across the waters from Bamburgh;
Theodoric (Athelric’s brother) fought vigorously against Urien & his sons. During that time, sometimes the enemy, sometimes the Cymry were victorious, & Urien blockaded them for three days & three nights in the island of Lindisfarne.
Reading between the lines, it seems that during the three-day siege of Lindisfarne, Gwrgi & Pheredur ‘abandoned their lord,’ Urien, and took a day’s march to Yarrow in order to fight Edda Great Knee. This man appears in the Historia Brittonum (chapter 63), as Adda, the father of Theodoric & Athelric. The battle’s victor is unrecorded, but numbering the rather large amounts of Dark Age burials in the locality we know that Yarrow was once an epic scene of carnage. Among the casualties, we may now presume, were Gwrgi & Peredur, whose father’s name appears in MS Harleian 3859h; ‘Gurci ha Peretur mepion eleuther.’ The name Eleutherius translates out of the Greek into ‘liberty,’ which in Latin is our very own ‘Liberalis.’ We may support this name-change elsewhere, for the very same transchisper occurs within two copies of an Irish text known as ‘The Expulsion of the Dessi,’ in which ‘Luthor‘ would be extracted from ‘Eleuther.’
Nine men of Luthor… from whom are the Luthraige (Laud 610)
Nine men of Liber… from whom are the Luburige (Rawlinson B 502)
In another manuscript, known as the Boneddy y Gwyr Gogledd, or in English as ‘The Descent of the Men of the North, Eleuther becomes Eliffer. The text in question is essentially a series of Dark Age genealogies, originally made in the late 6th century. Two of the pedigrees are of particular interest to our grailquest.
Gwrgi & Peredur are the sons of Eliffer of the Great Retinue son of Arthwys
Gwendoleu & Nudd & Chof the sons of Ceidyaw son of Arthwys, son of Mar son of Keneu son of Coel.
At this point we should acknowledge how Arthwys of the ‘Boneddy y Gwyr Gogled,’ is the same man as King Arthur. To do so, we must compare the names of three of the Boneddy’s consecutive kings to three consecutive kings given by the Pictish lists;
ARTHwys——-CEIdyaw —– GwenDOLEU
GARTHnach —- CAIltram ————- TALORg
Securing the King-Arthur-is-Arthwys connection shows how the Arthwys-Eleuther-Peredur lineage reinforces the presence of Dumnonian princes in the Yarrow inscription. With the name ‘Nudi’ being given in the same context as ‘Dumnogeni,’ it is likely that the princes are being described as belonging to the ‘Nud.’ Judy Shoaf, the American administrator of the now closed down Arthurnet forum, not long after I offered my solution to the Holy Grail when she publicly ridiculed me by posting, ‘none of Damo’s posts has ever included a single assertion that is useful to the study of Arthurian literature or of history… his work is moronic, and of interest only for its spectacular ignorance & I have decided not to shame him by sending it to anyone,’ she confirmed my linguistic supposition of the Yarrow inscription in a private message. Notice Judy’s initial instinct was ‘I thought you must be wrong,’ a sentiment shared by most of academia when faced with work from outwith the dusty cloisters of academe.
BTW, I was interested in your idea that Nudus and Dumnogenus are adjectives modifying princes in the Yarrow Stone inscription. I thought you must be wrong, because clearly you don’t know Latin, and this would not work grammatically. BUT I checked the inscription and your suggestion makes sense—the forms have endings in –i which fit the plural “princes” rather than implying names of single individuals in apposition with “princes.” It’s odd that the two words were read as names, but one would expect that a memorial would give the names of the persons involved; perhaps the names were on the other side, which I gather is damaged. However, I guess people who study inscriptions are better qualified than I am to interpret what the words mean in context. The way one figures it out is to look at other memorial stones (or texts) that use these words or a similar structure. Liberalis, on the other hand, looks like a name, in terms of both grammar and sense.
Searching for the source of the ‘Nudi,’ there is a mention of such a man in that very era, when an ‘Edeyrn, son of Nudd’ is seen fighting at Badon in the Dream of Rhonabbwy. This name transchispers elsewhere into Yder, son of Nut (Wace) & Hiderus filius Nu (Big Geoff). In the last chapter I showed how Uther Pendragon appears as Uudrost in the Pictish King List. Other versions of the list gives him the name-variant of Hydrossig, in which we can detect both Yder & Hiderus . This allows us to construct a family tree showing Pheredur as descended from a figure called King Nudd, & so was definitely Nudi.
Nud = Nut
Hiderus = Yder = Hydrossig = Uudrost
Arthwys = Garthnach
Eleuther = Liberalis
With Yder/Ederyn being present in the Pictish King List, it seems likely that the name Nudd is a retraction of Neithan, or Nechtan, the name of several Pictish kings. In the far north of Scotland, in Keiss Bay, there is a stone is carved with NEHTETRI, while in Latheron we have an Ogham inscription which reads; DUV NODNNATMAQQNAHHTO, i.e. Duvnodnat son of Nahhto. In Aboyne a stone is carved with NEHHTVROBBACCENNEVV MAQQOTALLUORRH, ie Neht <robba> Ceneu, son of Talorc (or Tallorcen, Talorgeu). The connection to Ceneu is intriguing, for this king appears in the Men of the North genealogies, as in;
Gwrgi & Peredur are the sons of Eliffer of the Great Retinue son of Arthwys son of Mar son of Ceneu son of Coel
We also have a fascinating chispological pattern presented by the Nehht-Vrobba combination, which creates two babel-chains that lead to Nectonius & Wrip, as given in the Pictish Chronicle’s;
So Nectonius the Great, Wirp’s son, the king of all the provinces of the Picts, offered to Saint Brigid, to the day of judgement, Abernethy, with its territories … Now the cause of the offering was this. Nectonius, living in a life of exile, when his brother Drest expelled him to Ireland, begged Saint Brigid to beseech God for him. And she prayed for him, and said: “If thou reach thy country, the Lord will have pity on thee. Thou shalt possess in peace the kingdom of the Picts.
Things are seeming so very real here, and it is through ‘Edeyrn, son of Nudd’ that the topsoil of a long buried layer to the Arthurian mythomeme may be scraped away. In the Rhonabwy poem, Ederyn is seen leading a ‘pure black troop’ of Danish warriors, which points us directly to the Scandinavian Heruli, of whom Tacitus writes, ‘not only are they superior in strength to the other peoples I have just mentioned, but they minister to their savage instincts by trickery and clever timing. They black their shields and dye their bodies, and choose pitch dark nights for their battles.’ The arrival, or rather return, of the Heruli to Scandinavia was recorded by the 6th century Byzantine historian, Procopius, who stated that roundabout the year 500 AD, after, ‘crossing many lands, they arrived at the land of the Dani, and then by crossing the sea they arrived on the island of Thule.’ The exact location of Thule is disputed, from Sweden to Iceland, but it definitely places the Heruli in the furthest fringes of NW Europe in which Scotland plays a prominent geographical part. A first hint that they came to Britain can be seen in the ‘Boneddy y Gwyr Gogledd,’ where Arthwys was succeeded by a certain ‘Mar.’ This gives us a solid semantic match to Maehren, the name of a Herulian kingdom whose denizens were known as ‘Marings’ as attested by buck foundle in Pannonia opposite the mouth of River March.
We can definitely observe a Herulian presence in the Pictish King list, where Galalan Erilich ruled from 507 to 519, between Drest Gurthinmoch & King Arthur’s brother, Drest. The epithet ‘Erilich’ is a match for the Herulian ‘Erilaz/Erilar,’ as found on ten runic inscriptions across Scandinavia, dating between 450 & 550. That Herulians could become Pictish kings suggests some kind of ancient tribal bond, & just as Tacitus recorded that Herulians ‘dye their bodies,’ so too does Herodian describe the Picts; ‘they tattoo their bodies with coloured designs and drawings of all kinds of animals; for this reason they do not wear clothes, which would conceal the decorations on their bodies.’ It is also becoming clear that the concentric circle appearing on a shield-painting of the Herules Seniores as found in a medieval copy of Notitia Dignitatum (below left) – a census of the Roman military dated to the beginning of the 5th century AD – is identical to those carved into numerous Pictish stones, usually in pairs. Indeed, the Pictish stones were for a long time attributed not to the Picts, but were given a Scandinavian origin. The ‘Sculptured Stones of Scotland,’ for instance, printed for the Spalding Club, states, ‘in the greater number of instances where any tradition exists, they are still called ‘Danish Stones.’
The Pictish symbol stones began to spring up in Scotland in the 5th & 6th centuries, the very period when the southern Heruli were returning to their northern homelands. The Pictish symbols have never been deciphered, but it is undeniable that another Scandinavian element to appear among the Pictish symbols is the lightning-like Sowilaz, the rune for sun which can be seen running through a pair of Herulian concentrics in the symbol known to scholars as the ‘z-rod & double-disc (above right). This combination of Sowliaz & Herulian also turned up in 1840, when a piece of bone called the Lindholm Amulet was found in Skåne, Sweden, whose runic inscription reads, ‘I am (an) erilaz, I am called Sawilagaz.’ The name Sawilagaz translates as, “the one of the Sun (Sowilo).’ We may also notice the presence of the Sowilaz in the Boneddy y Gwyr Gogledd’s,
Dunawd & Cherwyd & Sawyl High-head (penuchel) are the sons of Pabo the Pillar of Britain son of Arthwys son of Mar son of Keneu son of Coel
The Heruli were numbered among the Gothic tribes, & evidence for their presence in 6th century Britain comes during the siege of Rome in 537, the same conflict to which King Arthur was marching before he turned about-face in the Alps in order to deal with Mordred’s treachery back in Britain. The siege would last for over a year, when in 538 the Ostrogoths & the Byzantines, led by Belisarius, would come to an amicable agreement & end the siege completely. It is in an exchange of letters between the leaders at that time that helps us to scrape off a little more top-soil from the 6th century Herulian strata of British history. Procopius records;
And the barbarians said: “We give up to you Sicily, great as it is and of such wealth, seeing that without it you cannot possess Libya in security.”
And Belisarius replied: “And we on our side permit the Goths to have the whole of Britain, which is much larger than Sicily and was subject to the Romans in early times.
We have already seen in the last chapter how Arthur had visited Jerusalem. That King Arthur fought in the Byzantine forces is corroborated archeologically by the Byzantium-originated Tintagelware, & also this wonderful passage from Culhwch & Olwen, the oldest Arthurian tale, which shows how Arthur fought military campaigns far from the shores of Britain;
Then Glewlwyd went into the Hall. And Arthur said to him, “Hast thou news from the gate?”“Half of my life is past, and half of thine. I was heretofore in Kaer Se and Asse, in Sach and Salach, in Lotor and Fotor; and I have been heretofore in India the Great and India the Lesser; and I was in the battle of Dau Ynyr, when the twelve hostages were brought from Llychlyn. And I have also been in Europe, and in Africa, and in the islands of Corsica, and in Caer Brythwch, and Brythach, and Verthach; and I was present when formerly thou didst slay the family of Clis the son of Merin, and when thou didst slay Mil Du the son of Ducum, and when thou didst conquer Greece in the East.” I have been in Caer Oeth and Annoeth, and in Caer Nevenhyr
The sites of many of these places have been lost to modernity, but there is enough to show that Glewlwyd was campaigning in Byzantium & beyond. India the Great is India itself, while India the Lesser was Ethiopia. There are also mentions of Africa, Sicily (Salach), Greece & the islands of Corsica. All these places were theaters of action for the Byzantines, especially during Justinian’s Reqonquista in the 520s & 530s. We know about the Byzantines driving Godas out of Sardinia, for example, and also fighting the Hymarites in Arabia (Lesser India) in 530. The crucial section for Arthuriana is when Glewlwyd tells Arthur I was present… when thou didst slay Mil Du the son of Ducum.’ Mil Du, son of Ducum, was a Jewish warlord called Dhu Nawas who was defeated in the Yemen in 527. This gives us an interesting insight into Arthur’s lost years – between Badon in 516 & his accession to the Pictish throne in 529 – when at one point he was fighting for the Byzantine armies in the Arabian peninsular!
Wherever Arthur went he left a trail, but as the name Peter differs according to which language it is uttered in (French = Pierre, Danish = Pedyr), so too was Arthur’s name different in varying regions. Add to this the oral corruptions & scribal mistakes that abounded through the barely literate Dark Ages, then as we shall see Arthur’s name & identity kaliedoscoped into manifold splinters. One variant was Arthwys, which leads to a certain…
….Erythius/Erythrios. According to the Chronicle of John Malalas, he held the title of Patricius in the Byzantine empire, in 527. The very same title was found in connection with Arthur on a seal at Westminster last seen in the 16th century. In his preface to Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur, William Caxton writes, ‘in the Abbey of Westminster, at St. Edward’s Shrine, remaineth the print of his seal in red wax closed in beryl, in which is written “Patricius Arthurus, Britannie, Gallie, Germanie, Dacie, Imperator.”‘ The mention of Dacia is most relevant here, being a Byzantine District to the North of Thrace. Erythios is said to have been a patrician alongside a certain Ateneos/Aetherius, who could well be Ederyn/Eleutherius, etc. According to John Bishop of Nikiu’s Chronicle, the two patrician tried to convince Emperor Justinian to adopt Mazdakism in order to conquer Asia. We also know thar Erythius’ wife was sentenced to death for being a Manichean in 527, a possible motive for Arthur abandoning his Byzantine political life & heading to Scotland. The Chronicle of John of Malalas tells us;
At that time many Manicheans were punished in every city, among those punished was the wife of the senator Erythrios & other women as well.
But what about the Grail? According to the Arthurian romances, composed mainly in French about 1200 AD, we read how the Grail was transported to the Grail castle, somewhere in the Middle East by Sir Peredur & Sir Bors. I believe that the name of Sir Bors is a philochisp of Bouzes, one of the Gothic generals of Vitalian. A first mention of him was made in 528, when he appears as the joint duke of of Phoenice Libanensis (to the east of Mount Lebanon) together with his brother, Coutzes. That Bouzes was Sir Bors is also supported by Mallory’s ‘Morte D’Arthur,’ which states that Bors died fighting the Turks in the Middle-East. This connects with Bouzes’ own disappearance from history, when in 556 he was last recorded as defending Nesus on the River Phasis. Most importantly for our investigation, in 530 A.D. Procopius places Bouzes alongside a certain ‘Pharas the Herulian’ at the Battle of Dara.
The extremity of the left straight trench which joined the cross trench as far as the hill, which rises here, was held by Bouzes with a large force of horsemen and by Pharas the Herulian with three hundred of his nation… In the late afternoon a certain detachment of horsemen… came against the forces of Bouzes and Pharas. And the Romans retired a short distance to the rear… And again Bouzes and Pharas stationed themselves in their own position…Then Pharas came before Belisarius and Hermogenes, and said:”It does not seem to me that I shall do the enemy great harm if I remain here with the Eruli; but if we conseal ourselves at this slope, and then the Persians have begun the fight, if we climb up this hill and suddenly come upon their rear, shooting from behind them, we shall in all propability do them the greatest harm.” Thus he spoke, and, since it pleased Belisarius and his staff, he carried out this plan.
Seeing Bouzes & Pharas the Herulian together suggests that Pharas may have been Peredur, a notion we may support by picking apart the variant names – Pheredur & Parzival – in order to identify the correct phonetics contained in ‘Pharas Eril.’
PH: The ‘ph’ of Pheredur
AROS: The ‘arz’ of Parzival
ER: The ‘ur’ of Pheredur
IL: The ‘al’ of Parcival
History supports the connection, for a 14-year sojourn by Peredur in Constantinople, given in the medieval Welsh tale Peredur son of Efrawg, finds a tally in Pharas the Herulian’s membership of the Byzantine armies. Pharas’ epithet means he belonged to the Herulians, who were in the 6th century fighting as foederati in the Byzantine legions. He may even have been related to Galanan Erilich. It is interesting to observe that in the description of Pharas made by Procopius we get someone who sounds very much like one of the pious Knights of Arthur’s Round Table, as in, ‘energetic and thoroughly serious and upright in every way, although he was an Erulian by birth. And for an Erulian not to give himself over to treachery and drunkenness, but to strive after uprightness, is no easy matter and merits abundant praise. But not only was it Pharas who maintained orderly conduct, but also all the Erulians who followed him.’
According to the romances, the Grail was actually in Britain at some point, in the hands of a certain British King called Pelles. As we can see from the following babel-chain, the ‘Pelles’ name contains the core etymological elements as that of Liberalis, who we have ascertained was the father of Pheredur.
We may connect Liberalis with the Herulians thro an inscription found on a runestone near Kristinehamn, in Varmland Sweden. Known as the Järsberg Runestone, the text reads; ‘…ubaz am I called. Raven am I called. I, the eril, write the runes.’ The runestone is damaged, & it is possible that ‘ubaz’ is actually the ending of a different word. Another runestone, from Skärkinds, Östergötland, & dated to the same era gives us ‘leubaz.’
Returning to the Grail, it was said to have been kept at a place called Galafort, which points to a fortification near the Gala River in the Scottish Borders, in the relative vicinity of Yarrow. We will find out how it got there in the next chapter, but for now let us note how it was removed from Galafort to ‘Corbenic,’ castle. This was evidently somewhere in Northumberland, for the region was once given the name Bernicia by the invading Angles, named after their ancestral King, Benic or Bennoc, as appearing in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
547 : This year Ida began his reign; from whom first arose the royal kindred of the Northumbrians. Ida was the son of Eoppa, Eoppa of Esa, Esa of Ingwy, Ingwy of Angenwit, Angenwit of Alloc, Alloc of Bennoc, Bennoc of Brand, Brand of Balday, Balday of Woden
The capital of Bernicia was Bamburgh castle, a place well worth visiting for its fabulous castle, the wonderful tick-tack exhibitions within its sprawling walls & the lungbursting views of the North Sea. It feels that the Grail Castle actually stood on nearby Holy Island, on whose lands the 7th century Christian settlement of Lindisfarne upsprang. One medieval description of a visit to the castle states, ‘Gawain rode out to sea along a narrow causeway for a long way before reaching the castle.’ This is an exact match for the approach to Holy Island at Lindisfarne, a tidal causeway many tourists have underappreciated when swigging back that sweet & tasty mead made by the red-nosed local monks, thus stranding themselves in a tipsy stupor on the island.
The chief object of this chapter has been to show how the legendary finder of the legendary Grail was a real person, and thus if the legendary finder of the Grail was real then… well, you get the picture. We have also ascertained he was a British king of Herulian blood, who would appear in the Byzantine annals as fighting in one of the auxiliary foedarati regiments alongside the Byzantine legions. Acknowledging such a pan-Continental existence for Peredur puts into perspective how, according to the romances, he was given the Holy Grail at Corbenic in Britain, after which he would take it to a place called Sarras, situated somewhere in the Byzantine East. This leads us to an extremely fascinating collection of factochisps which have muddled up the origins & the outcome of the Holy Grail no end. It is time for a comprehensive study of the Mandylion…
Next Wednesday, 27/12/17
Chapter 1: The Exodus
Chapter 2: The Aryan Invasion
Chapter 3: The Mahabharata
Chapter 4: Agastya
Chapter 5: The Picts
Chapter 6: Brunanburh
Chapter 7: The Young Shakespeare
Chapter 8: Shakespeare’s Blossom
Chapter 9: The Badon Babel Tree
Chapter 10: The Saxon Advent
THE CHISPER EFFECT
Chapter 1: Chispology
Chapter 2: Princess Scota
Chapter 3: The Ithica Frage
Chapter 4: The Jesus Jigsaw
Chapter 5: Asvaghosha
Chapter 6: Dux Bellorum
Chapter 7: Dux Pictorum
Chapter 8: The Holy Grail
Chapter 9: The Mandylion
Chapter 10: Shakespeare’s Grand Tour
Chapter 11: The Dark Lady
Chapter 12: The Ripper Gang